Typically, the thought of monks brings forth images of peace and tranquilitynot supreme kung-fu beat-downs. For 1,500 years, the monks of Chinas Shaolin Temple have been guardians of two of the countrys greatest customs: Buddhism and kung fu. The temple is the birthplace of some of the most famous martial arts, devised to protect the grounds from bandits and later becoming one of the monks strongest traditionsand lucky to be here today. The Communist regime declared war on all old ideas and closed the countrys monasteries during the Cultural Revolution. But Jet Li helped to breathe new life into the temple after filming the 1982 classic Shaolin Temple there. It was the first martial-arts film to be shown in mainland China and sparked an international interest in the monks unique practices. Witness Venerable Grand Monk Master Shi Yong Xin and the Shaoling Temple Kung Fu Monks Team as they hi-ya! their way into your heart.
Tue., March 24, 7 p.m., 2009